WELSH SHOTOKAN KARATE UNION IN PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE

It may be fairly stated that the majority of those who join a karate club do so initially for the wrong reasons. The greatest wish of many young men and women, attracted by the myth of the invincible Karate expert who takes on and defeats all-comers and smashes bricks and wood with their bare hands is to wear the magical BLACK BELT and themselves become invincible.

But what is not appreciated is the degree of hard work and discomfort, the amount of sweat and the years of dedication the young man or woman will have to survive before he / she has the skills necessary to make either objective feasible. Yes, Karate techniques can be used to smash objects and defeat opponents, but if this is the main objective -  or rather, if this remains the main objective then that student would be well advised to stay away from Karate and go and buy a shot gun, which certainly would ensure their success in combat.

Karate – do is not a sport, nor is it primarily a system of self defence, these are merely facets of a multi-sided diamond, the heart of which is the rough, rugged painstaking quest for the answer to the meaning of existence, undertaken by a master and his pupils in their dojo. To understand this point is to make a great step forward, and to ensure clarification of many of the problems that may arise during the course of training. If his sensei is Japanese, or thoroughly trained in the Japanese spirit, the student may sometimes feel he is being selected for harsh treatment, that the sensei is not being ‘fair’ to him, all he ever seems to do is criticize. In fact, the student should welcome this, the Sensei is now showing that he has accepted him as a serious student and therefore worthy of criticism. Sometimes the Sensei will test the students spirit by pressing him to his limits and beyond in stamina, courage and willpower. The exhausted pupil should notice, however, that severe, though the Sensei has been, he has also been totally impersonal, and is just as demanding with every other student. Clearly, the master can have no friends in the dojo, by not offering the ‘prop’ of friendship he forces the student to rely solely upon himself.

The student must cultivate the ability to see things in there true perspective and to be completely honest with himself. This means never making excuses for a bad performance, nor being content with ‘coasting along’ in training. Eventually he will be led to understand that it is just as egotistical to be concerned overmuch with defeat as it is to rejoice in victory. It helps to understand that during such a period the body is actually assimilating the new knowledge gained from the training. It will reveal itself eventually and the student will suddenly find that things begin to go right. This plateau will pass it will also return, though of course each time the effect is maintained at a higher skill level.

 

Once you begin Karate for the benefit you may derive from it, it is our hope as your instructors that you will continue to train thoroughly until you arrive at a full understanding of the art.

Many people become weary and after the initial training they tend to stop for a while. However, this is a common state of mind and not restricted to the study of Karate alone, and a student may succeed or fail, depending on his or her attitude during this period.

Once aware of this state of languor, one must re-double one’s efforts and pass through this phase with inspired spiritual effort. If he she allows themselves to become discouraged and stops, the previous efforts by the student will be lost. The student who enters into this state of weariness shows that he/she does not fully understand or appreciate the art of Karate-Do. If therefore, any  student  does stop training and gives up the art with only superficial understanding of it, it can be properly said of them that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

The most common cause of falling into this state of weariness and dejection is falling behind in training, as compared with those that started the same time or even later than you. Another cause could be sickness or injury, or even the inability to use the limbs in a co-ordinated manner, due to the lack training or physical ability. Yet another cause could be poor tuition due to the lack of knowledge or poor tuition of the instructor. These are the basic causes of the student failures.

Another factor is that the student may feel that his lack of training makes him/her feel self-conscious in front of his/her fellow students. The general excuses are that they are not suited for Karate-Do and finally give up the art altogether. The best to progress is to keep a schedule of regular practice each day, to continue even after falling behind ones peers (one can catch with them quite easily). Firmly set light goals to achieve and to practise without rushing or becoming  impatient. This is in order that one may maintain ones interest and enthusiasm in Karate-Do

These Maxims are mottos, the spirit of which serious students of Karate-Do should try to follow if they wish to gain the maximum from there training. The Maxims are like the English sayings “Service not self”, Deeds not words”, “Be prepared” and exemplify an attitude which dictates a way life

 
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